According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, there has been no movement on contract discussions between Brady and the Patriots.
It is officially one month until the start of the March 16 legal tampering period when teams can negotiate with representatives for upcoming free agents, which narrows the timeline for Brady, Kraft and Belichick to come together and have the all-important meeting to set the table for whether Brady will be back in New England. The Patriots are expected to seek clarity on Brady’s intentions before the start of free agency on March 18, because his decision will have a significant trickle-down effect on the team’s overall plans. With no movement to date, I’m sticking with 80% odds on Brady’s return at this time.
Brady & Patriots Have Had a Month to Negotiate
While we do have a month left before free agency starts, it has to be discouraging for Patriots fans to hear this news. New England’s season ended more than a month ago when they lost to the Tennessee Titans in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. That means that the team has had more than a month to at least start negotiations with Brady. Obviously, that has yet to happen.
Free agency officially begins on March 18 but other teams are allowed to legally allowed to contact Brady on March 16.
Considering the Patriots probably want an idea of where Brady’s head is at before free agency starts, don’t be shocked if the veteran quarterback informs New England what his future plans are before the start of free agency.
When Brady Should Make His Decision
NBC Sports‘ Peter King pointed out that he wouldn’t be shocked if Brady makes his decision on where he decides to play for the 2020 season by March 12 or 13.
“There’s two phases,” Mike Florio said on NBC Sports. “Is he going to go back to the Patriots? That’s phase one. I think as a practical matter, that’s the ship that has to sail before March the 16th. You either sign with the Patriots or you embark on the Reggie White, Peyton Manning free agency tour. I don’t think the Patriots are still in play once the boat is out of the harbor. Do you agree with me on that?”
“Probably,” King replied “Probably, but I’m just going to say this, Mike. I don’t think that in this particular case anything is set in stone, but I do have a pretty good feeling that we’ll probably get to March 12th or 13th and know if there’s any chance he’s going to go back to the Patriots.”
No one knows what Brady’s decision will be and what team he’s really leaning on at this point. But the fact that both sides have yet to touch on contract negotiations is not a positive sign by any means.